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Top 10 celebrations

Novak Djokovic (SRB) celebrates his victory against Rafael Nadal (ESP) to become the Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles Champion.
by Richard Wilson
Tuesday 26 June 2012

Roger Federer’s homecoming. Following Federer’s initial emotions (regulation tears) having won his first Wimbledon title in 2003, the real eye-watering celebrations started on his return home to Switzerland. Federer was greeted with a standing ovation by 6,000 fans, which may have been expected considering he was Switzerland’s first male Grand Slam winner. What might not have been expected was the gift awarded to him at the Swiss Open at Gstaad – a cow. “It was a great idea, very funny," Federer said. "And a total surprise. I’m going to milk it."

Venus Williams wins her first Wimbledon title. With her younger sister Serena winning her maiden Grand Slam title the previous year, Venus Williams broke her duck by beating defending champion Lindsay Davenport in 2000. With a Davenport volley hitting the net, Venus turned to her box, and proceeded to hop, skip, and jump around the court in elation. Her energetic celebrations almost led her forgetting to shake Davenport’s hand. It was the first of five titles for Venus at SW19 and the start of the Williams family's domination.

Novak Djokovic the herbivore. When Novak Djokovic continued his domination of Rafael Nadal and 2011 by winning Wimbledon, his celebration was nearly as outstanding as his performance. After shaking hands with a dejected Nadal, an emotional Djokovic crouched on his knees grabbed a few blades of the sacred turf and literally tasted his first Wimbledon title. Explaining his actions, Djokovic said: “It tastes good. It just came spontaneously really. I didn’t plan it.”

Pat Cash climbs the stands. Pat Cash fought his way through the draw in 1987 with impressive wins over Mats Wilander and Jimmy Connors, which was then topped off by beating World No.1 Ivan Lendl in the final in straight sets. Cash’s celebration of fist pumps was followed by him climbing the stands of Centre Court to embrace his box, which included an ecstatic Ian Barclay, Cash’s coach since he was 11. This celebration has since been copied by a number of players.

Goran Ivanisevic strips. The Croat was a 125/1 outsider to win Wimbledon in 2001 when he was awarded a wild card. The three-time runner-up battled through a tough draw, which included fourth seed Marat Safin and both Brits, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski. Goran then outlasted Patrick Rafter in a Wimbledon classic, taking the match 9-7 in the fifth. Duplicating Cash’s celebrations of climbing the stands, Ivanisevic was then greeted by a 100,000-strong crowd on his return home to Split. Goran stripped down to his underpants and was paraded holding a Croatian flag above his head. The celebrations carried on in to the night with a firework display and partying. “I went out last night and just arrived back an hour ago, so I am still a bit asleep,” Goran said in an interview the following day.

Virginia Wade wins Wimbledon. Celebrating its centenary year in 1977, the All England Club also celebrated its last British winner in the shape of Virginia Wade. 1977 also saw the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, and Her Majesty was present at the final for the first time in those 25 years. With Virginia Wade beating first seed Chris Evert in the semi-final, she then lifted the Venus Rosewater dish, presented by the Queen herself, after overcoming Dutchwoman Betty Stove. With it being the 100th anniversary, having a British winner, and with the Queen present, this prompted a rendition of For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow on Centre Court – a very British moment.

Third time lucky for Jana. This was chapter three in the Jana Novotna Wimbledon saga. The summer of 1998 presented the Czech with her best opportunity to win the Championships that she’d been fingertips away from in 1993 when she choked against Steffi Graf, as she faced 16th seed Nathalie Tauziat. This time, Novotna held her nerve and fell to her knees. Tears of elation and relief ran down the face of the fragile blonde, who received the trophy from the Duchess of Kent, the same person who had comforted her five years earlier. “I knew it would be your year,” the Duchess told Novotna.

Maria Sharapova rings her mum. The 17-year-old Russian briefly interrupted the Williams’ Wimbledon domination in 2004 by beating Serena in the final. Sharapova defeated Serena 6-1, 6-4 and became the third youngest ladies champion in history. Sharapova celebrated with the now obligatory climb up the stands to hug her father. Sharapova’s mother was not present, so the Russian decided she would try to phone her while on court to share her good news, only to fail due to a faulty phone. “I kept turning it on. It went off. I kept turning it on. It went off. I told myself not to bother anymore.” The Russian also sparked great intrigue when she thanked a nameless inspirational person for her win.

Nadal and the Spanish Royal Family. Rafael Nadal may be considered a Spanish Prince himself. When Rafa won arguably the greatest tennis match of all time, Roger Federer had to sit and watch him take the climb into the stands to another level. Firstly, Nadal headed for his box. Then, illuminated by the flash of cameras around the stadium, Nadal walked across the top of the commentary box towards the Royal Box on Centre Court to be congratulated by the Prince and Princess of Spain.

John Isner wins longest match ever. John Isner was not celebrating winning the title, just simply making it through to the second round. His first-round match with Nicolas Mahut, the longest match in tennis history, lasted a total of 11 hours and 5 minutes. Finally wrapping up a fifth set 70-68, Isner threw his racket in the air, fell to the floor and almost performed an acrobatic head stand. The match itself was then celebrated with a special awards ceremony.


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20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...

20:03"I already have seven. It's not like I need another one. But it would have been awfully nice to have it. I think that's what the feeling was of the people, and I felt that... I know they love tennis. They love tennis after we're all gone."

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